Gene Wilder (1971 film) Johnny Depp (2005 film) Douglas Hodge (2013 Original London Cast Recording of the stage musical)
In the novel and across adaptations
Blue and Orange Morality: Wonka cares more about the production and the quality of confectionery than the safety of children. (He assures Mrs. Gloop that her son won't be turned into fudge "Because the taste would be terrible!") Granted, he is testing them, so his concerns for their safety are probably nonexistent. Plus, he talks about the solutions as if they were standard emergency procedures, likely because they do have accidents like those from time to time.
Hypocrite: He considers chewing gum "really gross" and detestable, yet seemingly sees no wrong in making profit from selling it (in the book, he explicitly states his desire to get that flawed gum right so he can sell it). He also disdains fat children, yet sees no wrong in selling chocolate, and generally candy, even though sweets are the number one cause for child obesity.
Interpretative Character: The guiding thread through all adaptations is that he's a Mad Scientist of candymaking with a unique way of thinking, seriously Skewed Priorities (especially with regard to the fates of those who don't heed him), and Trickster tendencies. The resultant enigma allows for a wide range of interpretations, as seen below.
Nice Hat: Wears a top hat in the novel and all adaptations.
Reed Richards Is Useless: He can make a meal come out of gum, an ice cream that stays cold and doesn't melt in the sun, build a chocolate palace without a metal framework, can teleport things into TV screens, and has anti-gravity technology - yet he only applies his know-how to candy. This is lampshaded by Mike Teavee in the 2005 film. Then again, considering what happened to Mike, can anyone blame Wonka for having no desire to apply his teleporting technology to people?
Trickster Mentor: The whole point of the Golden Ticket contest and tour is to find a child who he can train as a successor.
Casual Danger Dialog: He's like this throughout the movie. He reaches his high point when Mike decides to jump into the TV teleporter; Wonka, having given warnings to the other kids before the factory claims them, attempts to warn Mike in a tone somewhere between exhausted and bored. You can tell the guy's done caring by this point.
I Am Song: "Pure Imagination", which has some of the best I Am Choreography one could want.
Nice Hat: Willy Wonka's caramel topper. (There was no way this couldn't sound like a euphemism.)
Veruca: Who says I can't?
Mr. Salt: The man in the funny hat...
Obfuscating Disability: Willy Wonka's introduction — he walks out limping with a cane, then sets the cane aside and does a somersault. Gene Wilder wanted to do this as a warning from the first moment that neither the audience nor the characters could completely trust Wonka.
Songs in the Key of Lock: This Wonka has a flute key, and the door to his main chocolate room opens to a tune by Mozart.
Character Exaggeration: Not only does Depp exaggerate the oddness and enthusiasm of the original, he also picks up on the not-quite-hidden apathy for the other children and turns it into outright dislike. He's also much more obvious in his Magnificent Bastardry, like not opening the gate in the nut sorting room: if you watch closely, he finds the right key before Veruca goes down the chute, but the gate doesn't open until she's already gone.
Daddy Issues: These are inserted wholesale into Wonka's character and aren't present in the slightest in Dahl's original book. Part of what leads to Wonka's presentation as a psychotic man-child, to some degree.
Dissonant Serenity: He keeps on smiling even as the kids are going through horrifying things right in front of him, with the sole exception of the scene where he runs for cover as Violet turns into a blueberry.
First Gray Hair: This 2005 film provides the page quote for this trope. Willy Wonka reveals to Charlie that this made him realize he was getting old and drove him to start the Golden Ticket contest so as to find an heir to take under his wing and train up before he died.
Man Child: He seems to gain this attribute in addition to some severe Daddy Issues, neither of which are present in the original book or film. One of the many ingredients Depp named for his Wonka was a "bratty child", which comes through in his performance loud and clear. He's a stubborn, moody, frighteningly careless, easily delighted, self-absorbed braggart, who argues with the rotten kids just below their level, doesn't seem to understand adult behavior and harbors some very silly ideas about science and geography. He presumably ends up best friends with Charlie, who becomes a sort of spiritual mentor to him.
Not His Sled: Wonka initially refuses to allow Charlie to take his family to the factory to live with him, contrasting to the endings of the book and the 70s movie.
Older than They Look: Based on his flashbacks, he's somewhere around his 40s, but can still qualify to be around 30 or even still in his late 20s. This is partially due to his actor Johnny Depp appearing to be that age.
The Chessmaster/King Incognito/Master of Disguise: Disguised as an elderly tramp, he sometimes ventures into the outside world. It is in this disguise that he meets poor, imaginative Charlie Bucket...and ensures that he gets a Golden Ticket.
Motor Mouth: At times. Remember how the 1971 Wonka occasionally mixed up his words and corrected himself with "Strike that, reverse it"? As Internal Homage, "Strike That, Reverse It" is the title and recurring phrase in the Patter Song that opens Act Two.
Mr. Imagination: He credits being this as the key to his success in "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen".
Not His Sled: At the end, he makes Charlie his successor but Charlie and his family become the new owners of the factory immediately. Wonka disappears to continue his creative work incognito, knowing that his factory is in good hands.
Advertised Extra: In the novel, once Charlie arrives at the factory, he does nothing and, therefore, wins the factory. Granted, he spends the first third of the book starving to death while being a really good kid. By the time he gets to the factory, he's got nothing to prove to the readers. Adaptations usually tweak the story to give him more to do.
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In the book and 1971 film, Charlie is blonde. He is the only kid who isn't spoiled, mean, greedy, stupid, or otherwise unworthy of Willy Wonka's favor (apart from succumbing to temptation once, and he acknowledges that what he did was wrong and apologises for it).
Karma Houdini: In the 1971 film, Charlie gets away with drinking the soda without any consequences.
Subverted: Wonka knew about it the whole time and his outrage at the end was enough for Charlie to realize that he did something wrong and lost just as much as the other kids have. Giving the Everlasting Gobstopper back to Wonka was his way of acknowledging his mistakes and apologizing for it.
Mr. Vice Guy: The 1971 movie has him submit to the temptation to try the Fizzy Lifting Drinks.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The kids' major character flaws: being greedy, being spoiled, being obsessed with TV and... chewing gum? What? She was also bad mannered, and, in the 2005 film, hyper-competitive, but the book really focuses on the gum chewing as her main flaw.
A cut chapter from the book involves another contestant named Miranda Piker, whose crime is being a teacher's pet and having a headmaster for a father. She is eliminated when she and her father decide they want to put a stop to the making of a candy that will allow students to fake being sick. Dahl cut this subplot after he realized that there were too many characters.
Chalk up the "chewing gum" sin to Values Dissonance. Several decades ago, when this book was written, society was a lot stricter about a lot of things, chewing gum included (and the chewing gum rule was because chewing gum is noisy and can be disruptive to other people, but it's usually the classrooms that ban it, rather than factories).
The 1971 movie provides an explanation via the Oompah-Loompah song - gum chewing is fine now and then, but doing it all the time is disgusting and rude.
"If you have good manners, you will go far".
Asshole Victim: All of the kids, minus Charlie although they survive...unless you're talking about the 2013 stage musical.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Finding the Golden Ticket. Seemingly everybody in the world wanted to find one. Veruca and, in the 2005 film and 2013 musical, Mike even get theirs using underhanded methods (using laborers in her father's factory and "hacking" the ticket distribution to find the bar with it or just the ticket outright, respectively), and all five finders were considered "lucky winners". However, in reality 4 of those 5 kids are subjected to horrible Ironic Hell punishments, which was Wonka's plan all along.
Blessed with Suck: Winning the Golden Ticket. You get to be one of only five families that get: 1) to see and explore Wonka's chocolate factory, 2) a huge supply of chocolate and 3) a shot at a mysterious super-prize, but one small misstep and you are in for a very unpleasant experience, possibly with lasting damage.
Dwindling Party: The kids ,although they all survive, but are eliminated from competition. In the end it is revealed that the "winner" is defined as the child who stays last.
Felony Misdemeanor: All the bratty kids actually (yes, even Veruca) but especially Violet whose "crime" in the book consists solely of chewing gum. In the book this is lampshaded when Veruca's father comments that yes, Veruca is bratty, but this doesn't justify her burning.
Genre Blindness: All the kids, but especially Mike and (partially) Violet, who really should know better.
Humiliation Conga: All of the bad kids go through this, particularly in the 2005 film, in which Augustus, Violet, and Mike have their personal songs sung in front of them (though they mostly don't seem to be paying attention). One by one: Augustus falls into a chocolate river in front of everyone, gets sucked up a glass tube and sticks, goes through who-knows-what in the Fudge Room, then exits the factory covered in chocolate. Violet swells up and is rolled around, and ends up permanently blue. Veruca gets covered in trash. Mike is shrunk, then stretched to ridiculous proportions. All of them exit, in some demeaning fashion, filmed and being watched by presumably the whole world.
Unlike the first adaptation, which doesn't even hint to the children getting out at all. Though Wonka does assure Charlie they'll be fine.
Kids Are Cruel: In the book, the bad kids aren't really mean at all, but both films use this to some extent:
In the 1971 film, Veruca seems to hate Violet, shoving her around for no real reason. According to the DVD commentary in the 1971 version, Julie and Denise fought regularly for the attention of Peter, who they both had a crush on. Each would sneak jabs at each other while the camera was rolling as a result of the tension, which was kept in.
There's a mutual dislike in the 2005 film, and Veruca's schadenfreude at Violet turning into a blueberry. This is likely because both girls (Veruca due to being spoiled and Violet due to being a competitive perfectionist) feel a need to be the center of attention, and don't like sharing the limelight with one another.
Also in the 2005 film, Violet and Augustus pick on Charlie. Again, this is probably due to Violet's competitiveness, but Augustus just randomly mocks him. He said nothing to him in the book.
Laser-Guided Karma: Happens to all the children, whose misfortunes (or, in Charlie's case, good fortune) are a direct result of their personality and actions.
Spoiled Brat: All of the naughty kids. Augustus' parents feed him pounds of chocolate, Violet's parents indulge all her obnoxious habits, Veruca's parents get her anything she wants, and Mike Teevee's parents actually encourage his television watching because it means they won't have to babysit him.
Victimized Bystander: The naughty children who fall victim to events in the factory survive in most versions, but with "reminders" of their misbehavior. Augustus is thin as a rail from being squeezed through the pipes, Violet is purple, Veruca is covered in garbage, and Mike is a 10-foot giant (the end result of being put through a taffy puller to de-shrink him).
Michael Bollner (1971 film) Philip Wiegratz (2005 film)
Animal Motifs: Pigs, in all versions. His character description in the book is "a fat pig who would eat anything within reach or bite." Promotional material for the 2005 film showed pigs around him, as well. His family also runs a butchery in the 2005 film, driving the point home further with large sacks of meat hanging around him. In the 2013 stage musical, they actually raise pigs, and Augustus proudly declares in song that "I eat them limb from limb"!
Fat Bastard: Especially in the 2005 version. He offers his chocolate bar to Charlie and then yanks it away, saying, "You want some chocolate? Then you should have brought some," before giving the child-equivalent of an Evil Laugh. Presumably he knows that Charlie is starving.
In the 1971 version, he's a much nicer boy, and it appears his only fault is his gluttony.
While it's pretty disgusting to put unwashed hands in chocolate meant for worldly consumption (especially when repeatedly told not to), it's even worse in the book as Augustus is mentioned to have a nasty cold, which is now being spread through everything. Ew.
Fat Slob: Whereas the 1971 version had decent table manners, the 2005 scene in the Chocolate Room is made genuinely unpleasant as Augustus stomps around eating everything, the area around his mouth becoming quite colorful in the process.
Karma Houdini: In the 2005 film, all he ended up was covered in chocolate. Nothing else.
Oktoberfest: During the 1971 scene where we first meet Augustus Gloop. In the 2005 film, he is from *ahem* Düsseldorf, which The Other Wiki calls the center of one of Europe's most populated metropolitan areas. The 2013 stage version goes with Bavaria instead.
Out of Focus: He barely speaks in the 1971 film, mainly because the actor spoke barely any English.
Too Dumb to Live: Especially in the 2005 film. Seriously, don't drink out of the chocolate river on a ledge.
Motor Mouth: Taken to ridiculous levels in the 1971 film — and further still in the 2002 unabridged audiobook (not surprising, as the reader is Eric Idle). In the 2013 musical, it turns out that her chewing skill sprang up from her mom's efforts to keep her quiet!
Poke the Poodle: Unlike the other bratty kids she is never mean to anybody in the book, though she admits that she used to switch her gum once a day and leave the previous wad on an elevator button; she was highly amused by the reactions of adults when they inevitably got it on their fingers. ("You get the best results with women who have expensive gloves on.")
Cursed with Awesome: At the end, she is now (arguably) permanently blue, but with a body that can stretch like rubber. Wonka and Violet's mother are the ones who view it negatively; Violet herself reckons (and rightfully so) that this "punishment" is made of win.
Shameless Self-Promoter / Small Name, Big Ego: This Violet, with her father's help, has parlayed her "talent" at gum chewing into a full-fledged career in the entertainment industry, as he explains to Wonka: "She's got her own TV show, line of perfume, and we are opening boutiques all over the world." Pride is definitely her primary vice.
Julie Dawn Cole (1971 film) Julia Winter (2005 film)
A Birthday, Not a Break: A bit inverted: While the scene with Julie Dawn Cole's character Veruca Salt and her "demise" after her "I Want" Song was filmed on October 26, 1970, the actress realized in real life that the date on which it was shot was actually her 13th birthday and no one remembered it and that Denise Nickerson would be Veruca's singing voice according to the DVD commentary.
I want a feast! I want a bean feast! Cream buns and doughnuts and fruitcake with no nuts so good you could go nuts. / No, now! I want a ball! I want a party! Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons and / Give it to me / Now!
Karma Houdini: Despite being the worst of all the kids, she ends up merely getting covered in garbage rather than anything permanent like Violet and Mike suffer. Possibly justified as it was more her parents who needed to learn to be able to say "no" to her. Averted in the 2013 musical, however, in which she suffers Death by Adaptation.
Kick the Dog: In the 2005 film adaptation, after Violet turns into a blueberry, she suggests to her mother that she can be put in a county fair to continue competing.
Ascended Extra: Mike Teevee is more prominent here than in the 1971 film, and more antagonistic.
Bowdlerise: After explaining how he got his ticket, Mike says that "even a retard could do it." The term "retard" is considered to be a slur, but on British TV it is changed to "even an idiot could do it", and ABC Family omits it.
Comically Missing the Point: While explaining how he got his ticket. He apparently deduced it from so many facts, then found out what store the ticket would be in. When asked about how the chocolate bar he bought tasted, he says...
Mike: I don't know. I hate chocolate.
The Comically Serious: He can't appreciate the amazing World of Chaos that is Wonka's factory and would rather point out how everything shouldn't be able to work/exist, even when zapped by the shrink ray.
The Complainer Is Always Wrong: He doesn't really do anything but snark, and the questions he asks and things he points out are usually justified, yet (at least, in the TV room) everyone acts like he's completely wrong and that he deserved his fate. Then again, maybe he did.
He also violently tosses aside two Oompa Loompas in his charge towards the controls, forcing others to scatter for safety instead of trying to stop him.
The Cracker: Mike goes one better than his 2005 counterpart — by hacking Wonka's computers, he got a Golden Ticket without having to buy a Wonka bar at all!
Enfant Terrible: The Teavees let electronic media babysit him because, despite all their best efforts, they can't keep him from getting into trouble if he isn't glued to a screen of some sort. Said trouble includes setting a cat on fire, chloroforming a nurse, and stealing a German tank!
A character who was cut from the novel. She was an insufferable brat allowed to do anything she wanted, and never missed a day of school in her life. Along with her father, she met her end when she tried to smash a Spotty Powder machine—used so kids could skip school.
The Cynic: Grandpa George in the 2005 film and 2013 stage musical. Ultimately inverted in the former when he's the one who gives an idealistic speech to persuade Charlie to use the Golden Ticket, rather than sell it for cash.
Happily Married: Charlie's parents (except for the 1971 film) and both sets of his grandparents. The fact that he has a loving family makes him contrast with the bratty, dysfunctional rich kids even more. Charlie's parents get a duet in the 2013 stage musical, "If Your Mother Were Here", that makes this even clearer: They're both so busy working or looking for work that they don't get to spend much time together, but they both love each other and Charlie deeply.
Living Prop: In the 1971 film, Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina had no lines and hardly contributed to the plot at all. Grandma Josephine didn't fare much better, but at least she got 2 or 3 lines in. None of their actors were given a credit. They get a lot more to do in both the 2005 film and 2013 musical.
Naughty Kids' Parents
Adult Fear: Seeing your children go through terrifying accidents or transformations. Topped off with this gem when Mike Teavee is shrunk.
Mrs. Teevee: Uh, T-T-Taffy? Wh-What's he saying? [Oompa Loompa whispers to Wonka] Willy Wonka: No, no. I won't hold you responsible. [Mrs. Teavee suddenly passes out]
Bilingual Bonus: There's a bicultural version in the 1971 film. When Mr. Beauregarde asks Mr. Salt what business he's in, he replies "Nuts." To a Brit this may seem like a very straightforward answer, but in the US it's the equivalent of "Get stuffed."
Comically Missing the Point: 1971 film Mr. Salt just laughs when Veruca falls down the garbage chute and Wonka says it leads to the furnace, but jumps in to rescue her when Wonka speculates that she could just be stuck inside the chute.
Stepford Smiler: Mrs. Teavee in the 2013 stage musical. She tries to keep a house that could have come out of a 1960s sitcom, probably as a way of dealing with/denying her Enfant Terrible son. In fact, she's on even more medication than Mike is, "And at six I pour a shot of 'Mommy Water'".
Happiness in Slavery: The Oompa Loompas work and live in Wonka's factory for cacao beans, and are apparently thrilled with the arrangement. This could also have something to do with the value of the beans in their native culture where they are extremely scarce. To put it in perspective: imagine being paid in personal love slave services, recreational drugs, video games or your favourite vice.
Another part of the reason why they may be so happy working for Wonka is because, while they do now have to work for their cocoa beans, they are also allowed to live in comfortable housings in the factory, which is a fairly safe working environment. Back in Loompaland, they lived in rickety treehouses, survived primarily on mashed caterpillars, and spent their lives trying to hide from the variety of terrible monsters that also lived in Loompaland and which would devour Oompa-Loompas by the dozens if they could. Having to make chocolate in a strange land isn't much sacrifice when you didn't like your homeland in the first place and it means you don't have to worry about being eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a between-meals snack. That said, there is the fact that he uses them for testing the side effects of his confectionery, sometimes with (it's implied) FATAL results.
The Hyena: In the book, they laugh at everything. Completely subverted in both movies — in the 1971 movie they never so much as smile, much less laugh, and in the 2005 movie they're a little more emotive but have one very brief giggle fit.
Singing Is a Free Action: Everything stops for the Oompa-Loompas to sing the moral, even when Veruca falls down a chute that leads to the incinerator.
It's only lit every OTHER day. They've got time. (And if she's cooked... well, nothing to be done and they STILL have time!)
Also, she could just be stuck in the chute, so they've got time in that case as well.
Worthless Yellow Rocks: The Oompa-Loompas highly value the cacao bean, something Willy Wonka happens to have plenty of.
:In the 2005 film
Acting for TwoThousand: Every single Oompa-Loompa, even the female ones, is played by Deep Roy. Some (jackhammer, boat-rowers) are completely animatronic. Also, minimal CGI was used - Roy had to be filmed as each individual Oompa-Loompa. Don't worry, he got paid through the nose for his hard work!
Adaptation Expansion: In the 1971 film, the entire Slugworth plot and the Fizzy Lifting Drinks. In the book and the 2005 film, Charlie got the factory as soon as the other kids were out of the running and didn't have to pass a final test.
Ascended Extra: Slugworth. In the book, just one of Wonka's rivals (and only mentioned); in the 1971 movie, an employee of Wonka who, as part of Charlie's Secret Test of Character, pretends to be him.
The Rival: While Wonka has many rivals, in the 1971 movie Slugworth appears to be the worst out of all of them.
Secret Test: The Slugworth plot in the 1971 film, which serves to show that at least some of Wonka's quirkiness was Obfuscating Stupidity so that no one formed any outside attachment to him.
Fantasy-Forbidding Father: He is a dentist who doesn't allow his son to eat candy, driving Willy to rebel against him to achieve his dream of being a chocolatier.
I Have No Son: He relocates his house when young Wonka runs away, so he cannot go back. Turns out to be subverted, as Charlie finds out that the dentist has collected various newspaper articles about his son.